Both The Verge and Engadget are running with a story from the WSJ stating that Nokia is set to release an Android phone this month. at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This is yet another adventure into Crazy Town, so keep your arms and legs within the carriage at all times.
You might recall that Nokia made a point to publicly scorn the notion of using Android as their OS by comparing it to peeing in your pants during a winter storm in an attempt to stay warm. So instead of going with Android, they chose death by a thousand cuts... err... I mean, Windows Phone as their exclusive OS going forward. Fast-forward to the present, and Nokia is exclusively powered by Windows Phone. Windows Phone is almost exclusively Nokia Phones. Nokia is dead. Windows Phone is suffering. And Microsoft Buys Nokia in a fire-sale.
If you thought that was the end of the story, you're wrong! That may not even be a good summary of the beginning. Even as you read this, Nokia is preparing to introduce an Android phone on the eve of the Microsoft purchase going final. Nokia hates Android. Microsoft hates Android. Nokia loves Microsoft. Microsoft buys Nokia. Nokia makes and Android Phone. Where did we go wrong?
Could it be that Nokia never liked Microsoft at all? Is it not likely that Microsoft's Windows Phone was seen as only the lessor of two evils? Having given it the old college try, maybe Nokia has decided that the other devil couldn't be any worse, and is therefore, worth a try. The Microsoft purchase has not yet received the green light from regulators. Nokia still has to operate as a company in the best interests of its shareholders. In what might be their very last act as a company, Nokia is placing a big, no confidence vote in their new overlords.
If the relationship between Nokia and Microsoft was as rosy as we once believed, Microsoft could have just asked Nokia to table this project, at least until the regulators had their say. Why would Nokia want to stab their partner in the eye in this publicly embarrassing manner? At the very least, this suggests that Microsoft has no influence with Nokia, their only partner.
Even if the sale goes through before this phone can be released, the damage has already been done. We know about it. We have actually known about it for a while. Now we know that the existence of such a phone was more than a bargaining chip to get Microsoft to buy them. It was a plan of attack with which they have every intention of going through. Windows Phone is now damaged goods that even Microsoft's closest partner no longer believes in. If the sale does not go through, Windows Phone is immediately dead. Microsoft has no choice but to buy Nokia. They have already inked the deal, and Nokia is still going through with the plan that puts the dagger in Microsoft's heart. There is clearly more to the story. When I know more, so will you.